"I've been back in Australia for about two weeks now, but have been in hospital here until just a couple days ago," he said in a statement to the World Surf League (WSL). "It's great to finally be home with my family and I'm now concentrating on my recovery, seeing an orthopedic surgeon daily as well as a number of other specialists to monitor the progress.
"I have another series of X-rays in three weeks and that will give us an idea of how the ligaments and bones are healing. I'm reserving making any projections for the season until we have a more complete picture of the recovery progress and timing, but I appreciate all the support I've received from my friends and family, fans as well as my sponsors. Looking forward to coming back 100 percent."
The Australian has remained good-natured throughout his recovery, posting photos like this one on Instagram:
Professionally, Durbidge has been a lethal force at places like Pipeline, where he won in 2007. While he has less star-power than some of his fellow Championship Tour (CT) surfers, he's also held his own. The year after his coup at Pipe, he finished No. 2 in the world, just behind 2008's Champ Kelly Slater.
Other years, however, saw mixed results: He hovered around No. 20 in the world for several seasons, dangerously close to falling off the CT. But 2014, when he finished at No. 16, was the start of a new chapter for Durbidge. He kept that momentum up, proving himself against some of the Tour's young Brazilian hotshots last season. His first play as competitive dark horse was in May at the Oi Rio Pro, where he finished runner-up to local hero and small-wave expert Filipe Toledo (BRA).
Durbidge's next big star turn was in October at the Quiksilver Pro France. It was there, as the World Title race was galloping toward its finale, that he not only eliminated good friend and contender Mick Fanning but again took on one of Brazil's young stars, then-reigning World Champ Gabriel Medina. Medina won the event, putting Durbidge in second place, but it was a big statement at the apex of the season.
When asked at the time how he felt about ousting Fanning, he said, "I have my own goals, too."